Timestamp #306: Flux – Village of the Angels

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Doctor Who: Flux
Chapter Four – Village of the Angels

(1 episode, s13e04, 2021)

Timestamp 306 Village of the Angels

The Weeping Angels return to form.

In a basement laboratory circa November 1967, Claire Brown tests a lie detector. Professor Eustacius Jericho is amazed when she claims her birth year is 1985, and she quickly corrects it to 1935. Outside, Reverend Shaw looks for a girl named Peggy with a group of people and a note marked “Leave Now.” The experiment is interrupted when Claire adopts a deep voice and warns about the end of time. When she recovers, she states “The Angel has the TARDIS.”

The time capsule in question is hurtling through the vortex as the Doctor pulls glowing cables from the walls and triggers a dimensional compression wave that reboots the TARDIS and ejects the Angel. As the TARDIS recovers, the travelers decide to investigate their new landing place: The village of Medderton in 1967.

The team meets Gerald and Jean, and Yaz and Dan talk to them while the Doctor follows her sonic screwdriver. The Doctor’s sonic leads her to the basement laboratory and Claire, the source of the sonic’s perturbations. Claire feels ill and retreats to the restroom where she sees Angel wings sprouting from her back. The Doctor finds drawings of an Angel and the TARDIS.

Mrs. Hayward asks Reverend Shaw to count the church’s gravestones. During his count, he is taken by an Angel. Yaz and Dan also encounter an Angel while searching for Peggy.

The Doctor continues her investigation of Jericho’s home, finding broken glass everywhere and a field of Angels surrounding the house. The Doctor and Jericho secure the home while Claire explains that before she met the Doctor in 2021, she started receiving visions. Those visions led to the discovery that the entire population of this village will disappear, repeating similar events from 1901. The group retreats to the basement with a television while the Doctor sets a trap. Claire finds stone dust in her eye.

Yaz and Dan materialize in the village of the past. The place is deserted, but since the Weeping Angels are involved, Yaz and Dan decide to search for Peggy. They find the girl and a warning: The Angels left her behind so long as she didn’t explore beyond the village boundary. Yaz and Dan discover that the entire town is floating in space, something Peggy relates to “quantum extraction.” The village also appears to be shrinking.

In the present day, Gerald and Jean discover that their village is also floating in space. They find an Angel and are transported back in time. Mrs. Hayward then approaches with no consequence.

The Doctor, Claire, and Jericho monitor the Angels using a primitive CCTV. As the Doctor mentions that images of Angels can become Angels, one attempts to emerge from Claire’s sketch. The Doctor defeats it, but soon finds Claire transforming into a Weeping Angel for housing the image in her head. The Doctor decides to make psychic contact with the Weeping Angel in Claire’s mind.

The Doctor finds herself on a blue beach between parted waves. The Angel inside Claire is the same one that hijacked the TARDIS, and it asks for help to escape from others of its kind. The Angels hunting her are searching for a rogue as part of an extraction squad sent by the Division.

In the past, Gerald and Jean find Dan, Yaz, and Peggy. The elderly couple encounter an Angel and are turned to stone after touching it. No being can survive two touches from a Weeping Angel, and the couple shatter into pieces.

In the present, the Angels taunt Jericho with his supposed failings. The rest of the squad moves when one of them affects the television and tries to emerge from it. Jericho smashes the television and the squad breaks into the basement.

Inside the psychic vision, the Doctor questions the rogue Angel about Division. It offers an ultimatum: Stop the squad from obtaining knowledge of Division and the Doctor’s forgotten lives and it will spare Claire and answer the Doctor’s questions. The link is broken when Jericho wakes them up, and the trio is forced to escape through a hidden tunnel. Unfortunately, the walls are covered in Angel arms, and the trio is trapped between two Angels.

In 1901, Peggy tells Yaz and Dan about a Stone Age burial site that suddenly appeared overnight. They find a split in space-time where Peggy sees Mrs. Hayward, the woman who is actually Peggy grown up. The burial site is a collection of Weeping Angels who want a witness to their quantum extraction.

In 1967, the trio struggle with the Angels. Claire escapes, but Jericho is sent into the past. The Doctor continues through the tunnel but is left untouched by the Angels. She emerges from the burial ground next to Claire and sees the rift. The area is surrounded by Angels taking joy from the Doctor’s struggle. The quantum extraction is a process to take the village out of time to capture the rogue Angel. The rouge makes a deal to capture the Doctor, passing a message that she is recalled to Division.

The Doctor slowly transforms into a Weeping Angel, sprouting wings and adopting the typical stance. She turns to stone and joins the rest of the squad.

While all the Angel shenanigans are going on, Bel continues her search for Vinder. She lands on the former resort planet Puzano and is offered safety as a refugee by Namaca Ost Parvess Po. Bel and Namaca join a large crowd searching for safety from the Flux. Azure and a Passenger appear and take the entire crowd away. Bel throws Namaca to the ground, leaving them as the only survivors. Azure tells them to bring others, and Namaca is furious for missing his chance at sanctuary. Namaca later finds Vinder and leads him to a rock wall with a holographic message hidden within. Bel’s coordinates are lost in the message, but Vinder promises to find her.

All of his faults aside, Chris Chibnall (and Maxine Alderton, the only co-writer for the Flux miniseries) succeeded in making the Weeping Angels scary again. After their introduction in Blink and their evolution in The Time of Angels & Flesh and Stone (in which we learn about the image of an Angel becoming an Angel), the villains lost their narrative power as they became bit players and goofy antagonists. Despite the sad game-changing ending, The Angels Take Manhattan (and its Statue of Liberty Angel) is the epitome of the effort to make a monster more menacing by escalation.

This story gets back to basics with a temporal twist. The Weeping Angels stalk the main players as they play a vicious game in a unique twist on their mythology. The story cleverly plays with elements of their background – don’t blink, draining of power, temporal dislocation – while returning them to their horror roots. The Division angle adds to their mystery, as does the Doctor’s peril at the end.

This flow is disrupted by Bel and Vinder’s story, which feels like filler that tries to keep Azure relevant. I’m sure it will mean something in the remaining chapters, but the inclusion here threatened to derail the powerful “A” plot. This was exemplified by the glitchy mid-credit scene that interrupted that spooky rendition of the Doctor Who theme.

Other than that, I found this story to be a treat to watch.

Rating: 5/5 – “Fantastic!”

UP NEXT – Doctor Who: Flux – Survivors of the Flux


The Timestamps Project is an adventure through the televised universe of Doctor Who, story by story, from the beginning of the franchise. For more reviews like this one, please visit the project’s page at Creative Criticality.

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